Title: Harry Potter House Cup Competition
Designed By: Nate Heiss and Kami Mandell
Art By: Delaney Mamer
Published By: The Op
Player Count: 2-4
Time to Play: 75 Minutes
Ever dreamed of competing for the House Cup at Hogwarts? Now you can! Harry Potter House Cup Competition is as close as we muggles will ever get to compete for the real thing. Choose your house and work with your cardboard classmates to score the most points to take home the House Cup.
Harry Potter House Cup Competition is a worker placement game for 2-4 players. For those that are new to worker placement style games, don't let the mechanism scare you away. Unlike many worker placement games, the Harry Potter House Cup Competition is what we would refer to as an entry-level worker placement game. Players do not need to have played heavy multi-hour long Eurogames to be able to understand and enjoy the gameplay for the Harry Potter House Cup Competition. As worker placement is one of our favorite mechanisms in board games, we love that this game makes our favorite mechanic approachable for newbies.
The goal of Harry Potter House Cup Competition is to be the house with the most points at the end of the 7th round.
It should be noted that Harry Potter House Cup Competition takes up a lot of table space, so be prepared when you are setting up the board and each player's common room. However, we must mention that it looks BEAUTIFUL on the table! Seriously, this game is enchanting. It captures the Harry Potter vibe wonderfully and the components are all well made.
Have each player take a Common Room board and the students associated with the house they choose. Set up the level trackers in each of the 9 spots. Give each player two basic lesson cards and 2 knowledge tokens. If playing with 3 or 4 players, give them the appropriate extra resources.
Next, set out the game board, and flip 1 section 1 (green) location card face up setting it on the board. Then select two section 2 (pink) and 1 section 3 (blue) location cards and put them face down on the corresponding spaces on the board.
Shuffle the 4 decks of cards (Basic and Advanced Lessons and Easy and Hard Challenges) and set them on the spaces on the board that match the decks. Flip over the top 3 cards from each deck.
Place the Knowledge and Magic tokens within easy reach of all players and set up the House Cup Hourglass Display, making sure to keep the scoring gems nearby.
Add the round tracker to the space marked "1" and you are ready to get playing.
How to Play:
Harry Potter House Cup Competition is played over 7 rounds with each round consisting of two phases.
During phase 1 players will take turns placing students on the board to do things like gain knowledge or magic, level up in a lesson, or collect lesson and challenge cards. During this phase, players will place one worker on an available spot on the board and take the corresponding action/ resource(s). Players can also choose to "learn a lesson" if they have a lesson card they can meet the requirements for. Lessons can be learned at the beginning or end of a turn. Players gain the lesson rewards as soon as it is completed. After all students (workers) have been placed onto the board players enter phase 2.
Phase 2 is the challenge phase. During this phase, players can attempt to complete up to two of their challenge cards (either 2 easy challenges, or 1 easy and one advanced). Students will work together to combine their knowledge in the different subjects to meet the required levels needed for each subject to complete the challenge. Students can only compete in one challenge each per round, so plan carefully which students you choose to level up in what subjects!
For any challenges that are successfully completed, players gain the rewards listed at the bottom of the challenge card. You can use rewards from your 1st challenge to potentially achieve a 2nd challenge if you plan well!
After all players complete any challenges they chose, the game advances to the next round. Keep doing this until round 7 ends. Then do the final scoring and the house with the most points wins the House Cup Championship!
As big Harry Potter fans, this game really spoke to us. We already mentioned we love the art, but we also love how lots of little thematic pieces really tie everything together. The whole game really fits well into the Harry Potter world. Students go to class, learn magic, then use that magic to accomplish goals. Be a good student and you will bring your house glory! The cards contain lots of magical references to the series and we enjoy reminiscing about the books while achieving different goals from them.
We also need to talk about how much we love the House Cup points stand. It really reminds us of a miniature version of the house points tracker from the movies!
The gameplay is also a lot of fun. As we mentioned before, Harry Potter House Cup Competition is a great gateway game for those looking to try out a worker placement game. But for those with more experience with these kinds of mechanics, it is also super nice to have a worker placement game that plays in just over an hour. Harry Potter House Cup Competition makes for a great option for those looking for a light and more casual game. Harry Potter House Cup Competition is the kind of game you want to pull out to relax with after a long day. It is strategic without being overly so, so your brain doesn't have to be fully awake in order to still do well and have fun.
Harry Potter House Cup Competition was also very easy to teach new players, as getting started playing it is nice and simple. One other thing we think helped with this is that the game is not asymmetric. It would have been easy to make each house have its own advantages and disadvantages, but keeping them all the same makes it easier for gateway gamers to get started with. It's nice that no matter what house you are in, the only real difference is the students you are playing as.
Oh and don't worry! It's safe to pick Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin as unlike in the books Dumbledore doesn't appear at the end of the game and suddenly give Gryffindor a bunch of extra points to push them into 1st place! Everyone has an equal chance with this cup!
Pudgy Cat Games makes no profit off reviews. Should you wish to purchase Harry Potter House Cup Competition, you can help support us by purchasing the game through our Amazon Affiliate Link below. It will cost you nothing extra, but will help support our site! More information can be found on the Op's website.